Be Well Butte Educators; Nov. 2020

A Monthly Wellness Newsletter for Butte County's Educators

Welcome

Hello and welcome to the second edition of Be Well Butte Educators, the newsletter designed specifically for the wellness of all those serving students directly and indirectly throughout Butte County. Whether you are a teacher, administrator, paraprofessional, office staff, bus driver, custodian, or any of the other many staff supporting Butte County's students, we're so glad you are here. Each month we will be sharing ideas and resources to support you in taking care of YOU! If you'd like to receive this newsletter monthly, you can sign up in the right hand column of the web-based version of this Newsletter or send an email to mtaylor@bcoe.org with Wellness Newsletter in the Subject Line.
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Gratitude

November is National Gratitude Month. There has been much research done on gratitude and it's benefits are many. This month we will share informative resources and ideas for how to intentionally incorporate gratitude into our lives. Check out the article below for the benefits of gratitude and ways to integrate more gratitude into your daily life.

Gratitude Changes You

Gratitude can actually create change for us. Good changes! The article below shares what some of the research on gratitude is telling us.

Still not sure about the effects of gratitude? Check out the video below.

An Experiment in Gratitude | The Science of Happiness

Self-Care for Busy Educators

180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators by Tina H. Boogren is an amazing tool for incorporating self-care practices into our routines. Each month we will share an idea or two from this book.


Gratitude


Gratitude provides so many benefits including improved physical and psychological health, enhanced empathy, reduced aggression, and improved sleep. Creating a daily gratitude practice is particularly beneficial. Below are a few ideas provided to help with creating a gratitude habit.


Things to try this month:


  • First thing in the morning or just before you go to bed, write down 3 things that you are grateful for. Use a journal, your planner, or even just the notes app on your phone.
  • Do you like to take photos? Take a photo each day of something you are grateful for. Save it for yourself or share it on social media. It could be a pic of anything from a pretty sunset to a delicious dessert to a funny sign.
  • Let someone else know that you are grateful for them or for something they've done. Send a text, write a note, or even just leave a sticky note for them.


Consider trying one of these ideas for a week. After the week is finished, reflect on how you feel and what has changed. Is this a habit you want to continue?

Gratitude & Meditation

Below are several meditation videos grounded in gratitude.
5 Minute Guided Meditation for Gratitude / Mindful Movement
Feeling Grateful and Full of Gratitude 10 Minute Guided Meditation

Gratitude is Good for Your Physical Health, too!

MATT TRIES

Each month our own Matt Reddam, BCOE School & Community Wellness Advisor, tries out a new wellness activity and reports back on his experience. This month, Matt tries the first thing - Hiking.


According to the National Park Services, there are a number of benefits to hiking:


  • Physical: Hiking is shown to build stronger bones, increased heart health, increased sense of balance, and decreases the risk of certain respiratory issues.
  • Mental Health: Being in nature can boost your mood and improve mental health. Spending quality time in the great outdoors reduces stress, calms anxiety, and can lead to a lower risk of depression, according to a study done by researchers at Stanford University.
  • Relational Health: Because hiking ranges in difficulty from an extremely challenging climb to a casual way of spending time outside, it’s a great way to strengthen the friendships or bonds you have with your companions.


I decided to try an easy self-care activity first. Since I was a kid I always hated hiking. I couldn’t see why following my grandparents up a hill was enjoyable! This has followed me into adulthood to some degree, but being locked inside for 7 months has broadened my horizons. So I grabbed my friend, grabbed my fishing rod (just in case) and hit a trail on the Upper Sacramento River.


It was tiring. I am out of shape, but my friend and I talked about everything under the sun. Before I knew it I wasn’t focused on the throb in my legs and back, and was enjoying the pine trees, rush of the river, and the laughter as we tried to make the dirtiest jokes we could think of.


As we were leaving we saw a little gray shape. It was a gray fox, and instead of bolting away, he started to come towards us. Closer, and closer, and closer, until he was right next to us. With rabies at the forefront of my mind I started walking away. Our little friend followed, and followed, and followed. It turns out he was either strongly attracted to my feet, or he had been previously fed by humans, or he was my spirit animal. I choose to think the latter! Overall I give hiking a 5 out of 5 wellness stars……and the fox gets 6!


Check out next month's newsletter to see what Matt tries next! And if you'd like to suggest a wellness experience for Matt to try out, click HERE and add your ideas.

Matt Tries Hiking

Relax

Enjoy Fall nature scenes and peaceful music.
11 HOURS of Enchanting Autumn Nature Scenes + Relaxing Piano Music 4K UHD

Upcoming Wellness Opportunities

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Laura van Dernoot Lipsky Training Event Registration Links:

Tech Support

The Shine app is a great app to help you develop a gratitude practice. Each day the free version provides a wellness message, brief video, and an opportunity to reflect on gratitude. You can set a notification to help you remember to complete it each day. The paid version has some other benefits including full access to all of Shine's meditations, calming sounds, and more.

Get Your Sleep

Don't forget the importance of sleep in our wellness journeys. Our bedtime routines can help us to have a more restful sleep experience. Consider turning off your electronics an hour before bedtime and engaging in a relaxing activity such as reading, coloring, or taking a warm bath. Below is a Gratitude Meditation for Sleep that you might try.
Gratitude Meditation Before Sleep

Optimistic Closing

One of CASEL's 3 SEL Signature Practices is the Optimistic Closure. An Optimistic Closure ends a meeting, class, or experience in a thoughtfully planned and meaningful way, helping everyone leave with appreciation and energy, looking forward to connecting again. As you finish reading this month's newsletter, what is one way you might begin to practice gratitude?

Ideas for Future Newsletters?

Do you have ideas or a topic that you would like to see in a future newsletter? Click HERE to submit those for consideration. Thank you for your input!

Maryanne Taylor

Maryanne is the Principal for Special Education Programs for BCOE and is a member of the Coordinated District Support Team. This newsletter is part of a coordinated plan to address the wellness needs of all staff in our districts and schools in Butte County. For more resources, visit the BCOE Universal Wellness Webpage.